DANM to mark 10th anniversary with arts festival and masquerade ball

UC Santa Cruz DANM anniversary celebration poster
UC Santa Cruz DANM MFA art exchibition poster
Projections on the UCSC Digital Arts Research Center building by Steve Gerlac
Projections on the Digital Arts Research Center building by DANM grad student Steve Gerlach

The Digital Arts and New Media M.F.A. program (DANM) at UC Santa Cruz will mark the completion of its first decade on April 25 with a daylong celebratory extravaganza titled It’s Pan-DANM-onium!

The event will feature the program's annual art exhibition--plus outdoor exhibits, interactive demos, alumni slideshows and open research labs--capped by an outdoor evening masquerade ball.

As part of the campus’s 2015 Alumni Weekend, DANM’s anniversary event will showcase the achievements of its alumni with a series of rapid-fire slideshow presentations.

More than 20 program graduates will display their current work and research from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Digital Arts Research Center (DARC, Room 230).

This year’s annual M.F.A. student art exhibition, titled New Alchemy, will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the DARC building, featuring interactive, mixed-media, and performance work by the 2015 graduating class.

Jaime Austin, curator and director of programs at San Jose’s ZERO1 art and technology network, and the curator of New Alchemy, will lead a guided tour of the student exhibition at 2 p.m.

DANM will additionally host a Faire of Making outside on the grounds of the DARC building, including a wide variety of Santa Cruz community and tech groups, featuring interactive craft booths and activities for all ages, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

During those hours, DANM research labs will also be open to the public with ongoing research on display.

The festival culminates in the evening with a reception for the student show from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., followed by dancing and a live DJ under the glow of projection art at the Masquerade Ball, on the DARC patio.

The DANM M.F.A. Program at UC Santa Cruz serves as a center for the development and study of digital media and the cultures that it has helped create. Faculty and students are drawn from a variety of backgrounds, such as the arts, computer engineering, humanities, the sciences, and social sciences, to pursue artistic and scholarly research.

“For 10 years now DANM has offered a model for interdisciplinary art making that has bridged the arts, humanities, and sciences,” said Acting Dean of the Arts Martin Berger. “It has inspired a generation of students and faculty to create socially conscious work at the leading edge of new media."

DANM director Michael Chemers noted that the program has worked hard, not merely to address the many ways in which technologies impact contemporary culture, but also to train future leaders in shaping how those forces are brought to bear in the service of enriching both culture and technology.

“As we reflect on our 10th year of existence, DANM is excited about our developing international profile, our new collaborations with other institutes across the globe, the advances of our unique research groups in inventing “outside-the-box” methods for interdisciplinary research and development, and our encouragement of art and technology projects that not only delight the mind and move the spirit, but also protect the earth and serve the struggle towards social justice,” said Chemers.

Admission to all events is free and open to the public. For more information, visit the festival web site.